It’s arbitration time! Friday was the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures, and often when that happens, the two sides realize they’re not that far apart and they agree to a deal without the need for a pesky arbitrator to get involved.
That was the case for the Dodgers and Trayce Thompson, who agreed on a deal worth $1.45 million.
Thompson had been estimated by Spotrac to make $1,695,207 in arbitration, so this represents a “savings” of $245,207, inching them closer to the luxury tax number and continuing a trend of L.A. settling with players for slightly less than their projected numbers. There aren’t enough settlement opportunities to get them below the luxury tax without making a trade of some sort, but every dollar closer gives them more options.
Thompson was a happy surprise in 2022 for the Dodgers, who brought him in as a temporary fill-in when Mookie Betts went down with a fractured rib. Thompson played so well that he stuck around the rest of the season and even made some starts in the postseason. He posted a .901 OPS in 239 plate appearances for the Dodgers, and now he gets to come back for another season.
This was Thompson’s first year eligible for arbitration, so it’s easily the biggest payday of his career. He’s been back and forth between the minors and the majors for most of his career, which started in 2015 with the White Sox. His 255 plate appearances in 2022 (including 16 with the Padres early in the season) were the second-most in his career, trailing only 2016, the first season of his first stint with Los Angeles.
Congratulations to Trayce on sticking around and finally getting the financial security he was looking for!
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